06 June 2008

I was deflowered!

So, it's true. I lost my off-road virginity. It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time, but I'm really anxious to do it again. :)

Flynn goaded me into it, I mean it's not that I didn't want to but I'm not one for embracing completely new experiences. I get skittish and nervous and well, like a dumb girl as they say. But anyway, as I was saying, Flynn took care of everything. He was up front about what I needed (water, snacks, a jacket in case it got cold) and he planned the whole thing. It made me worry much less than I would have otherwise.

We went out to Potato Ridge. I followed him directly from work to the beginning of the trail...more than a good half-hour. He specifically chose this run so that I wouldn't be overwhelmed. Out of a possible difficulty score of 5, Potato Ridge is like a 2-1/2. Not bad.

At the beginning of the trail, Flynn laid out what we were going to do as he deflated my tires. I was such a newbie I didn't even know why he was deflating them, but he explained that it was so that the tires would widen out and grab more. Sweet. I love that kind of thing, that kind of random information that's actually useful. Then he made sure I had no questions, and got into his Jeep (Snow White) and I got into mine (as yet without a proper name).

It was simple enough to begin with. I cruised behind him thinking the trail was cake. We went slowly, but for the most part, it started off straight and flat. Then it got interesting...and exciting.

I saw Flynn pull off the the side and motion for me to pull over as well. I did. He told me to get into his Jeep. I did. I was thusly introduced to the Rock Garden. It was just...large rocks and small boulders one atop the other, scattered about, and as it was my first time he wanted to show me how to plan my path. He walked me through the entire thing, explaining aloud each decision and making sure I understood. There was even a point where I was certain we'd tip over and yes, only two wheel were touching ground, but he taught me how important it was to not panic in such situations. It was good, learning all that. Then he made me get out and do it myself.

I admit I panicked a bit; but I got in and he walked beside me as I talked out my path options. Sometimes he helped with advice. Sometimes he shrugged and said it was my call. Sometimes he had me get out and see what crazy position I had forced my poor Jeep into. (Like the time I squished it into a crevice and the sad little wheel was all snug deep inside the wheel well.) I also saw a lizard!

It was definitely a unique experience...after my second tour in the Rock Garden I felt far more confident and not too far after that we made it to the peak. It was calm, I looked at the scenery, I appreciated the moment. We took a break and talked a bit, mostly mundane things, then made our way back down: it was crazy. Most of it was thisclose to the drop, and I was a tiny bit nervous about it--most everyone knows my fear of heights--but I just used my newly-acquired skills of planning my path and I was careful to notice where Flynn took Snow White. Obviously, things went well.

We ended up at Red Rock Canyon: 3 hours and about 20 miles later. It felt great. Flynn inflated my tires again, as well as his own, and it was so sweet how vehicles stopped to make sure we weren't stranded. It was just so good to be in the thick of nature, it felt divine and adventurous and calming and ferocious. I loved it, and I can't wait to go again. I still want baby-trails, for now, but I hope to work my way up.

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